By Cpl. Han SamuelJune 25, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- The Korea America Friendship Society hosted a dinner at the Grand Hyatt Seoul Grand Ballroom, to commemorate the accomplishment of distinguished individuals who had improved relations between the two nations, June 21.
"This night has been especially prepared to encourage exemplary U.S. Forces Korea Servicemembers and Civilians who are serving our nation and building the friendship between the United States and Republic of Korea," said Han, Chul-soo, president of KAFS.
The five members being recognized included Spc. Daniel Wrobel, Master Sgt. Philip R. Fourroux, Sgt. Adam D. Ellis, Petty Officer Terence Richardson, and Yongsan Garrison Directorate of Emergency Services director Ricky Oxendine.
One of the recipients, Oxendine, showed exemplary work in boosting the alliance by maintaining a strong partnership with his Korean counterparts. As the director of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan's Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency Services and Security, Oxendine regularly deals with critical programs directly affecting the life, health and safety of Community members living in Area II. In conducting his duties, Oxendine was able to partner with Yongsan-gu Police and Fire, allowing for the improved security of USAG Yongsan and Yongsan-gu Communities. Additionally, Oxendine coordinated several events on garrison for thousands of local nationals to enjoy.
"I am very humbled to receive this award - I've attended this event in the past and have talked to former recipients of this award, but never suspected that I would be recognized for something of this caliber," Oxendine said. "I don't think this reflects upon anything that I've done, it reflects the work that all the people who work for me have done, and so, on their behalf I am very honored to receive this award."
The four other members being recognized for the evening also contributed to strengthening ROK-U.S. relations. Although each member boosted the ROK-U.S. alliance in different ways, all contributed by investing personal time in volunteer work, outreach and engaging with the citizens of the Korean peninsula, showing their dedication to the alliance. KAFS expressed gratitude to each of these members by presenting them with the 2012 KAFS Award.
Special guests for the evening included Kim, Sung-han, vice minister of foreign affairs and trade, Brent Byers, U.S. Embassy minister for public affairs, Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, Eighth Army commanding general, and Gen. Kwon, Oh-sung, the deputy commander of Combined Forces Command.
Everyone who attended the evening were treated to a fabulous meal as well as special musical performances from various artists including Koreana Hong, who had sung "Hand in Hand," the theme song for the 1988 Olympics, commemorating the dedication of Citizens and Servicemembers in strengthening the ROK-US alliance.
"I am very pleased with these efforts for an ever stronger Korea-U.S. friendship and ask your continued support to deepen the alliance in the best interests of our two countries," Han said.